Last month, we talked about the 6 F’s of retirement planning – faith, family and friends, fitness, finances, fun and finality. The focus of today’s article is the third F, fitness.
I break retirement into three stages: the go-go years, the slow-go years and the no-go years. The go-go years are when you have just retired and you are itching at the chance to go on that lifelong trip you’ve been dreaming of. The slow-go years are when things start to slow down, you aren’t traveling as much for fun or to see the grandchildren, and you realize that you are going to need something else to fill up your days. This is the time where you can turn a hobby into a skill! The no-go years are when you can finally relax and reflect on your wonderful life with the loving company of family and friends. Fitness, as it relates to the six F’s of retirement, means something different in each stage.
In this stage, you have just retired and you’re ready for a change of scenery. The trip you “never had time for” seems to be finally possible. Whether it’s walking along the Seine River in Paris or swimming with baby pigs in Bora Bora, this is your exciting trip of a lifetime. It is often a wakeup call for those who travel to Europe and realize how much walking is required. You need to be fit to really enjoy a trip like that.
Tip One: Take time before and after your day to stretch. Stretching can help you become more flexible and decrease the likelihood of an injury.
Tip Two: Know your body’s abilities. By keeping a realistic view of what you can and can’t do, it ultimately keeps you safer and allows you to live out the go-go years to their entirety.
You’ve returned safe from your time away, now it’s time to reel it in. Retirement can be a hard transition, especially when your identity has been so strongly influenced by your occupation during your working years. This is where you find out who you really are, where your true aspirations lie. Whatever your next move is, maintain your previous habits of stretching and knowing your body’s limits.
Tip Three: Socialize! Your mental health is equally vital to your overall fitness. Keeping up with family and friends allows you to stay sharp and confirms your self-worth. A stable support system can boost your confidence as you put yourself out there and try new things. Whether it’s following the grandkids or joining a walking group, it keeps your mind and body moving!
As things slow down, this stage is where you are able to decide how you want to sculpt your life and your legacy. It can range from low- to high-impact exercises; remember, everyone differs, so find the ones that are right for you.
Tip Four: Go to the doctor! Now more than ever, it’s important to understand how you can best care for your body.
Tip Five: Be consistent. Once you find a hobby or activity you enjoy, stick with it. To make sure it doesn’t fall through the cracks of your busy schedule, mark the activity in your planner.
Each of these tips is a building block, as you get into the groove of adopting one, the next one will be easier to achieve. These tips have been created to help you plan and achieve a successful mindset in life.
To recap, here are my tips:
1) Stretch - Stretch daily to ensure your muscles don’t tense up on you while exploring the world.
2) Know Your Body - This will help you become more aware of how hard you can push yourself and where you should draw the line. So, if it comes down to deciding if you should scale the side of a rocky mountain or not, you will be able to make the correct judgement call.
3) Socialize - Having a friendly face by your side during this transition makes finding a new hobby or activity a piece of cake.
4) Go to the Doctor - The doctor can assist you in tailoring your daily life to your body’s capabilities, thus allowing you to live your life the way you want it.
5) Consistency - Keeping a schedule will not only motivate you but also keep you on a routine. Wake up with a purpose and plan for the day, don’t let it pass you by.
As life goes on, you may notice you or a loved one forgetting things more frequently or behaving differently. Many may think that this is inevitable with aging, but it’s not! According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 Americans are living with this disease, and every 65 seconds, another individual is diagnosed, causing it to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. However, the association recommended ways to reduce cognitive declines - the first one being “break a sweat.”
As a financial professional, I understand the importance of being fiscally prepared for retirement, but don’t forget to focus on your physical health as well. As they say, your first wealth is your health!
Opinions expressed are that of the author and are not endorsed by the named broker dealer or its affiliates. All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.
Premier Planning Group is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. The firm is located at 115 West Street, Suite 400, in Annapolis.